No way to know if vaccination will outpace Delta variant

Jun 18, 2021, 6:00 PM | Updated: 7:31 pm

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Pedestrians fill the sidewalk in Seattle near Pike Place Market on June 10, 2021. (Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

As the number of COVID-19 cases fall across King County, health officials are keeping a close eye on variants, particularly Delta.

Dr. Jeff Duchin with Public Health — Seattle & King County said it’s possible we’ll see outbreaks of Delta over the summer, but he can’t predict to what extent.

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“Whether we are outpacing the virus or whether the virus will outpace us,” Dr. Duchin said. “If you’re vaccinated, you’re already won. If you’re vaccinated, you’re protected against Delta and the other circulating variants.”

The race against Delta really only includes those people who are currently unvaccinated.

“It’s impossible for me to predict the exact pace of what may happen,” Duchin said.

King County is ending its mask mandate on June 29, the day before the state officially reopens.

With that date in the not so distant future, Duchin reminded King County residents on Friday that the level of transmission in a community affects everybody. Even if 70% of the population is vaccinated.

“The less transmission we have, the better off we all are,” Duchin said. “We’re not going back to pre-Covid. We’re going back to vaccinated people close to pre-Covid, unvaccinated people continue to take the same precautions you’ve been taking.”

That means unvaccinated people should continue wearing masks around people when they’re indoors and limit activities indoors around other people.

Everyone should assume there are both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in spaces who are not wearing a mask.

“There will be risks and each of us needs to be comfortable with the level of risk we’re willing to take,” Duchin said.

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As for when or if vaccinated individuals will need a booster in six months, Duchin said there is no data yet to indicate a timeline. He said they’ll only know if the first group of individuals to be vaccinated begin getting Covid-19. He said the earliest groups are being monitored for transmission.

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No way to know if vaccination will outpace Delta variant